A Short History of Corpus Christi
In June, 1989, a new parish was established on ten acres of land purchased by the Diocese of Joliet in an unincorporated section of Wayne Township. Fr. Charles Gemskie was asked to be the founding pastor. There have been many changes at Corpus Christi since that first Mass on Labor Day weekend in September of 1989. Of the first 300 parishioners, 98 are still in the parish. The church and the houses that surround it are now part of the Village of Carol Stream.
In 1991, Fr. Chuck and the parish staff moved from rented offices in the basement of Brust Funeral Home to the newly constructed Parish House. The design had been used by the diocese in several other parishes. Shortly after that first Mass, a steering/building committee was formed to direct the process of creating a worship space for Corpus Christi. Continuing to celebrate Mass in the gym at Benjamin School and the auditorium at Glenbard North wouldn’t do. We needed our own proper worship space. The church design was given to the parish to decide. The present church building containing worship space, offices, Marian Hall and classrooms was dedicated by Bishop Joseph Imesch on November 22, 1994.
There have been many changes in these past twenty years in the parish, in the church and in the world. In 2004, Fr. Chuck retired and Fr. Robert Hoffenkamp became pastor. In November 2014, Fr. Bob retired and Fr. Marek Jurzyk became our third pastor. Bishop Imesch retired and was followed by Bishop J. Peter Sartain, who was followed by Bishop Daniel Conlon. Even the pope has changed. After the long papacy of John Paul II, first Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ. The parish has grown from those first families, to almost 1600 households. Thousands of our children have participated in Religious Education classes, were baptized and celebrated other sacraments. Many of these same children are now returning as adults to be married or have their children baptized at Corpus Christi. Our parishioners are involved in over forty different ministries that deepen our relationships with Christ and reach out to our neighbors, near and far.
In October of 2012 we began a new project. This renovation included additional sanctuary space, a new sacristy and storage space. Three new offices and restrooms were added. In the sanctuary space, the two center sections of chairs were replaced with pews and the carpeting was replaced with tile. Stations of the Cross, which were saved from a convent in Wisconsin, were restored and installed, as was the back altar.
Looking back, we can see all the ways that our God has been with us on our faith journey. We have been blessed with a vibrant, welcoming community and shepherded by good and faith-filled priests. We have had wonderful opportunities to deepen our relationship with Christ and each other. Looking forward, we return to the words of our Mission Statement. “We are Corpus Christi.” As the Body of Christ, we continue to try to live as “. . . prayerful and sacramental people empowered by the Holy Spirit,” who “. . . extend ourselves . . . by gratefully sharing our blessings.” May it ever be so. In the words of the hymn, “Gather your people, O Lord. One Bread, one Body, one Spirit of Love.”
CORPUS CHRISTI CATHOLIC CHURCH.
A Community of Christian believers
Who embrace the Word of God,
Who proclaim its message to all,
With a welcoming spirit
As prayerful and sacramental people
Empowered by unity,
Inspired by the Holy Spirit,
We extend ourselves
Seeking to recognize the needs of others And responding with compassion by Gratefully sharing our blessings.
We gather as
THE BODY OF CHRIST
To celebrate and become a source of hope And inspiration to all.